Bovine Colostrum vs. Human Colostrum: Here’s What You Need to Know


Colostrum is commonly referred to as the “first food of life.” It comes directly from a mother’s breast immediately after giving birth and offers numerous benefits for infants, including:

  • Advanced protection against infection.
  • Additional support to minimize the pain and physical stress of birth.
  • Nutrients and vitamins to help an infant grow and develop.
  • Closing of the holes in the stomach to prevent permeability.
  • Seeding the G.I. tract with beneficial bacteria for a healthy microbiome.

It is important to note that human colostrum is for babies only. Most mother’s colostrum can be measured in just teaspoons. However, adults can enjoy many of the health benefits of human colostrum if they take a bovine (cow) colostrum supplement.

Bovine colostrum supplementation is a superb option for adults, children, and even pets (mammalian species only). In fact, bovine colostrum is safe to consume in any quantity and can be incorporated into an individual’s diet with ease.

So what differentiates human colostrum from bovine colostrum? Here’s a closer look at some of the key differences between bovine colostrum and human colostrum, along with why bovine colostrum can make a world of difference for users of all ages.

  1. Immunoglobulins 

Immunoglobulins (antibodies) are found in both bovine colostrum and human colostrum. They empower the immune system to combat a myriad of foreign invaders within the body, including:

  • Bacteria
  • Cancer cells
  • Viruses

Bovine colostrum contains a high concentration of immunoglobulins G (IgG), A (IgA), E (IgE), D (IgD), and M (IgM) that provide extra protection against infection. It also contains about 40 times more antibodies than human colostrum for greater protection against pathogens.

Comparatively, human colostrum consists primarily of IgA, one of the most common antibodies in an individual’s body. IgA is found in the secretions of the mucosal surfaces, such as tears and saliva. In addition, IgA has been shown to help reduce the risk of autoimmune conditions, asthma, allergies, and infections.

  1. Growth Factors 

Growth factors stimulate growth and replication of living cells. They function as chemical messengers that aid in the growth, organization, and maintenance of cells and tissues. Plus, growth factors support wound healing, skin repair, and heal intestinal permeability, or Leaky Gut Syndrome.

Bovine colostrum includes a higher concentration of an insulin-likie growth factor (IGF) than human colostrum. It also contains special enzymes that prevent growth factors from being digested.

On the other hand, human colostrum contains two kinds of growth factors – CAGF and CBGF. CAGF serves as an epidermal growth factor, while CBGF promotes platelet differentiation.

  1. Lactose 

Lactose is the primary sugar found in milk and other dairy products. It has been shown to help infants absorb and retain many important minerals, including calcium, manganese, and zinc. 

Human colostrum contains the highest amount of lactose available to any species. The lactose in human colostrum supports an infant’s brain growth and development as well as a child’s fluid loss through sweating and urine formation.

Conversely, bovine colostrum contains less lactose than human colostrum. Bovine colostrum also includes a higher concentration of casein, a protein that provides the building blocks of muscle, than its human counterpart.

At Sovereign Laboratories, we understand lactose intolerance is a problem that plagues millions of adults, too. As such, we offer Colostrum-LD™, a lactose-reduced formula, which is ideal for individuals with lactose intolerance. Of course, anyone who has had an anaphylactic reaction to dairy products should avoid colostrum entirely.

Ultimately, Colostrum-LD™ represents a bovine colostrum supplement that can serve you well throughout your life. From infants to octogenarians, Colostrum-LD™offers proven health benefits we can all enjoy.